JCB Group take over SKODA franchise

One of Kent and Sussex’s largest motor group has completed a deal which will see it take over a SKODA franchise in Worthing, covering Hove and its neighbouring city, Brighton.

The JCB Group is spreading its operation across the South East with the takeover of the franchise of West Sussex Motors from the Birchwood Group, expanding its growing portfolio of Volkswagen Automotive Group (VAG) sites.

“I’m very much centred on developing a regional dealership group which is customer-focused and financially robust. 18 months ago we announced the acquisition of the Eurovans Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles franchises in Brighton, Crawley and Eastbourne which increased our influence and reach in the automotive world,” said Managing Director Jonathan Bischoff.

“Since JCB Group’s inception, we’ve proven that there’s a healthy market for good old fashioned service in supporting motorists, where people are looked after. Customers are also concentrating their purchases around vehicles which are reliable and offer value-for-money. With this in mind, our strategy of expansion is very much focused around VAG brands.

“The opportunity to take on the ŠKODA franchise was simply too good to miss, after all it has a deserved reputation for value-for-money; products built to the highest standards, engineering innovation and outstanding customer service, very much fitting in with our own values.”

Mr Bischoff set up the JCB Group 17 years ago, then aged 28, while he was working for another dealership. He wrote to Volkswagen, explaining that he only wanted to work for them and was desperate to be given the opportunity to run a dealership. To his delight (and surprise) Volkswagen replied, offering to be the guarantor behind this new business venture.

Fast forward 20 years, Jonathan’s team have sold in excess of 75,000 vehicles and the business has grown to include other marques including SEAT, Honda and Fiat, plus Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VW CV).

The ŠKODA franchise will now be part of a family run group which prides itself on being the UKs largest Commercial Vehicles dealer, the South East’s number 1 Volkswagen dealer (according to VW One Business Awards for 2015) and which also supplies parts to the trade industry.

Mr Bischoff added: “We are utilising our extensive resources and expertise to ensure that there is a smooth transition for all involved. We are delighted to welcome ŠKODA to the JCB Group family.”

The independently owned JCB Group now employs over 300 staff throughout Kent and Sussex.